Zamboanga City

Diverse faiths, one city: Zamboanga marks Eid’l Fitr, Catholic diocese’s 114th year

Frencie Carreon

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Diverse faiths, one city: Zamboanga marks Eid’l Fitr, Catholic diocese’s 114th year

EID'L FITR IN ZAMBOANGA. Muslims in Zamboanga City gather in celebration of Eid'l Fitr at the Grand Mosque in Pasobolong, marking the culmination of Ramadan on April 10, 2024.

courtesy of Sadik Islamic Institute

The streets of Zamboanga buzzed with festivities as the city embraced two celebrations – the Eid'l Fitr and the 114th anniversary of its Catholic diocese

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story reported that it was the 117th year of the diocese of Zamboanga. This has been corrected.

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – As the sun set, Zamboangueños from all walks of life reflected on the city’s years of unity amid diversity, in two major celebrations that showed Zamboanga transcending religious boundaries.

The streets of Zamboanga City buzzed with festivities on Wednesday, April 10, as the city embraced two celebrations, marking both the joyous occasion of Eid’l Fitr for the Muslim community and the 114th anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Zamboanga for Catholics.

In a display of Zamboanga’s rich diversity, thousands of Muslims converged at the newly inaugurated Grand Sadik Mosque in Pasobolong, filling its halls with prayers and celebrations, eclipsing attendance records of previous years’ Eid festivities in the city.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga’s Catholics gathered to celebrate the legacy of the Diocese of Zamboanga, commemorating its 114 years of service and faith.

Established on April 10, 1910, by a decree signed by Pope Pius X, the diocese holds historical significance as the first in Mindanao and Sulu, earning Zamboanga the title as the seat of the Mother Diocese of the Catholic Church in the region.

MASS. Father Philip Balagon officiates a mass in the presence of Archbishop Julius Tonel, with Father Armand Aquino as homilist. courtesy of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

“The Diocese of Zamboanga, now an Archdiocese, stands as a beacon of faith and unity, guided by Archbishop Julius Tonel,” said the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in a social media post.

As dawn broke, the same day, hundreds of Muslims congregated at Paseo del Mar for the culmination of Ramadan, under the auspices of Salatu Eidl’ Fitr 1 Shawwal 1445H, organized by the Ehsan Foundation Incorporated and the Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula.

Zamboanga Mayor John Dalipe greeted the city’s Muslims and Catholics during the celebrations.

He issued an executive order to facilitate Muslim prayers at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan. 

Streets were also temporarily closed to accommodate a Catholic procession, even as he put emphasis on the city government’s commitment to fostering harmony and mutual respect among Zamboanga’s diverse religious communities. –

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